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July Favorites

It's August!  It's time to talk about the non-fashion loves from the past month!  I have to admit that I was all over the map in July.  I'm about two months into seeing concerts as often as possible, which is in part a goal of mine in that I'm trying to pursue my passions in life.  I'm learning that when you pursue your passions head on all kinds of doors start to get opened in regards to finding new things to love...and do.  More on that last part in a moment ;)
Leighton Meester
I'm a pretty big Gossip Girl fan and I'm partial to the character that bares my name.  But I also find the actress who plays her, Leighton Meester, to be fascinating.  I don't follow too many celebrities on Instagram because I'm generally not super impressed with that kind of culture.  The exceptions to the rules are generally comedians like Whitney Cummings (my hilarious spirit animal) or musicians like Andrew WK (to call him an entertainer is an understatement).  But I follow Leighton and her photos are always so effortlessly lovely.  I think she's a rare breed amongst Hollywood and has a natural grace that makes her more beautiful.  Through her Instagram I've recently discovered her solo music work and while it's a little off my beaten path of genres I usually indulge in, I completely love it.  Her voice is hauntingly beautiful and hypnotizing.  I'm not usually into the "singer/songer" genre or sound but she really pulls it off.  Hell, she has a country song and it's so catchy I can't help but love it!

I Live Here
by Mia Kirshner
One of my guilty pleasure TV shows is The L Word.  For those who have not seen it, it's basically the lesbian Sex and the City.  Some of it is really good; I love majority of the acting and character development and some of the plot line are great.  I think the show added a bunch of stuff just to add it though and it's a little silly.  This show only debuted a decade ago and ended a few years back but now that we're in an era where being gay is not only okay but it comes with legal benefits and inclusion, well, it hasn't aged perfectly.  But I get it!  They were trying to represent all gay paradigms, regardless of how realistic it was to the plot or story arcs of the main characters because it was the only show about lesbians.

  Somewhat recently I revisited some L Word episodes and therefore looked up the cast again on IMDB to see what's been going on with them in the past few years.  I learned that Mia Kirshner, who plays the innocent and newly out girl gone psychotic Jenny, wrote a book (with other writers and illustrators) about her/their journeys to countries and the people they encountered.
The packaging, as you can see, is very unique.  It's actually more of a binder or case that holds 4 separate books.  Each book is a different country and the stories of the people they met are told in artistic and comic book fashions, featuring orphans and prostitutes and every walk of life in-between they encountered.  It's definitely one of the more interesting ways to learn about people living in third world countries that I have ever come across.  

Stand-up Comedy on Netflix
Instead of investing in a new show on Netflix, I've been rotating between stuff I've already seen for when I'm brain dead adjacent from being kind of swamped or stand-up specials that don't require too much time commitment.  The ones I've liked the best are:

Christian Finnegan: The Fun Part
I didn't love everything he had to saw, but parts were down right hilarious.  I'm familiar with him because he used to be on some ironic talking head shows on VH1 like Best Week Ever.

Jen Kirkman: I'm Gonna Die Alone (And I feel fine)
I know her from Chelsea Lately and this was WAY funnier than I thought it would be.  She's clearly a very bright lady and a thinker, so I loved hearing her hilarious takes on life.

Myq Kaplan: Small, Dork, and Handsome
He's a little bit shtick-y in that everything he says is a pun or an add on joke.  At times I wasn't as into this.  But by the end I totally respected him for doing this because it takes a beautiful mind to find that many hidden jokes and commit to that bit for a solid hour.

Iliza Shleslinger: Freezing Hot
My friends played up her "flat bread pizza" act too much for me to find that part especially funny, but everything else had me smiling if not in stitches.  Side note: Iliza Shleslinger seems like the absolute coolest lady comic out there.  I LOVED how rational and girly she was at the same time.  #girlaftermyownheart #newhero

Kathleen Madigan: Madigan Again
Like Christian Finnegan, I didn't love every second.  But she was definitely funny enough to make this list.  She reminded me of a lot of "broads" I know in real life too, so that kind of tickled me a bit. Her whole take on taking "an adventure" with Lewis Black away from the comfort of the tourist area from where their cruise docked was amazing.

Jurassic World
I wrote about this a little bit here, but it's worth mentioning again.  Truthfully, I thought the movie was so bad it was good, but I kind of like movies like that.  I DVR Lifetime movies and save them for when I need a laugh and I kiddingly but seriously cite Showgirls as one of my favorite movies.  Parts of Jurassic World weren't technically bad, as Bryce Dallas Howard and Chris Pratt are legit actors.  But the dialogue was atrocious, I kind of wish the kids died, and the personal plots were half baked.  Let's not even talk about how scientifically inaccurate it was.  That said, I enjoyed every second of it and am thankful I saw it on the big screen and with someone who shares my sense of humor.

Sexy Baby
One of my new favorite documentaries!  I'm a feminist but I don't agree with every feminist talking point.  And more specifically, I think bigger questions aren't being asked and therefore things continue to be misunderstood.  This documentary was unlike anything else I have ever seen.  It aptly explained where the confusion about sexuality versus empowerment comes from all while how that gets tied into one's identity.  They show this ball of confusion in modern day America by showcasing three very different American women's lives: a teenager growing up too fast in NYC (say what you want about her, but she's a super bright kid.  If she can evolve past the sexual facade and learn from her experiences I believe she could in fact take over the world), a former porn star and current pole dance instructor, and a preschool teacher who wants a labiaplasty.  Every woman, and man, should see this film.

Worth Rewatching Again...
As I mentioned I rewatched a few things lately while trying to fall asleep or chilling on the one or two elusive chill Sundays.  Two things are worth mentioning though...

Don't Trust the B in Apartment 23
One of my favorite all-time favorite shows.  I don't think I've ever been so mad that something got cancelled.  But I get it; I thought the show looked stupid by the way they advertised it until I accidentally saw it.  I have possibly never seen better comedic acting and the idea of James Van Der Beek playing a douche bag version of himself is unprecedented and brilliantly done.  (Hell, I like him now when that wasn't necessarily the case before the show!)  Any show that can make me wish that I could try to fake seduce someone by playing the Facts of Life theme song, have a pervert friend of a next door neighbor, get a comic book named after me, lease out my friend's apartment while they're out of town without telling them, or have a bestie from sociopath camp is the best show ever in my book.  I only got to watch an episode and a half this month, but it was with my comedy partner.  At 4 in the morning one night I made him watch it with me because he hadn't seen it and it's been on our bucket list all 2015.  I'm doing my best to not touch the series from where we fell asleep so I can continue to watch it with him as it's our sense of humor to a tee.  But that struggle is very real every time I see it in my "Continue Watching for Lauren" list.

The only problem with Bruno is that it came after Borat.  Borat is a comedic masterpiece.  Bruno is amazing but it does fall slightly short of that honor.   I liked Bruno when I first saw it but hadn't seen it in years.  I was surprised at just how funny I found it when I rewatched it this month.  Bruno is one of my favorite characters from the Ali G show and the movie does do him justice.  I think Bruno also got a bad rap because straight males didn't enjoy all of the penis images.  This is the first time I've seen the film since after the 2012 election, so seeing him try to seduce Ron Paul was even more jarring and hilarious.  A lot of people don't enjoy this kind of humor, but anything that's inappropriate but with a lot of intelligence behind it is typically my favorite kind of humor.  I'm never not amazed at how great Sasha Baron Cohen is at trolling people without laughing and I'm constantly researching what was staged, what was real, and what almost made him lose his composure after seeing something he did.  I'm marveled at how ballsy he is.  ...also...I've been hinting at a comedy project.  To say rewatching this wasn't 100% research would be false ;)

Most Frequent Artists on Spotify:
Tennis, The Dead Weather, Leighton Meester, The Knife, Jurassic 5, Milo Greene, Graveyard, and Hall and Oates

Concerts Seen:
Marilyn Manson, The Smashing Pumpkins, Death Cab for Cutie, Jurassic 5, SF1, Chemistry Club, Milo Greene, STRFKR, and Tennis

What's on deck for this month?
I've already seen The Kills and Baby in Vain and I'm seeing the Foo Fighters later this month.  It should be a slower concert month though, which I have mixed feelings about.  I still want to start watching Parks and Rec and there's tons of books on my bookshelves waiting to be read.  I'm curious about what all I'll have time to squeeze in as in addition to this blog, I'm intending to start up my political blog by the end of this month or by September after a longer than intended hiatus, my comedy buds and I are officially in preproduction with scouting locations, rehearsing, and trying to court some local businesses to help us, AND...breaking news here...a friend of mine and I are starting a band.  Honestly, I'm super fucking happy right now.  I'm having a blast with limited expectations except to do a good job at all that I do and have fun with it.  Pursuing my passions has brought some very interesting turns and projects into my life, and so many things that make up who I am are getting attention, leaving me feel very balanced for the first time...possibly ever.  Stay tuned!  Happy August!!!
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  1. I am obsessed with Leighton Meister! She made such a great Blair Waldorf and I am seriously jealous of the fact she wore all of those amazing clothes as Blair! I never checked out her Instagram but I think I would like to check it out:)

    I would just like to let you know that I am running my first giveaway on my blog- $30 E-Certificate to Forever 21! Check out my post for more details and a chance to win!

    Olivia | Her Name Was Celebration

  2. I haven't had idea before that Leighton is the singer! What's more I really liked Jurassic World too, it was great film with amazing special effects :)

  3. I have a HUGE best friend crush on Leighton Meester. Ever since Gossip Girl I have just loved her and everything she does!

  4. I didn't know that Leighton sang, it is nice to know! And I would love reading those books, courageous writing - I many times quote what happened "in a place where I lived", so not to offend people who were born in a certain place... I would really love to read the books! I agree with you, Bruno came right after Borat, so it didn't get the attention it could... I think many people found him offensive, maybe! Hope you have a very nice weekend, dear Lauren Blair!

  5. Since when does Leighton sing? Wow, I must be living under a rock. Ha!! I have to check her work out. Thanks for sharing and passing through my blog.

  6. I didn't know she made music! Great post xo

  7. Lauren, I am watching Gossip Girl right now for the first time and I just learned Leighton Meester is a singer:) I watched her Heartstrings video on Youtube and cannot stop listening to her voice. She is so beautiful and talented.

    Thanks a lot for sharing!

  8. Aww, I love Leighton Meester too! She's the cutest!
    Sending you much love & I hope your weekend is as fabulous as you are!!!
    xoxo, Vanessa

  9. Hmm, I will have to check out her music! Thanks for sharing!


  10. wow, didn't know LM sings, too *_* She's gorgeous :)

  11. I love Leighton and her music too! It's a shame she doesn't get enough recognition! Have you watched that Youtube video where she sang Heartstrings? Love her!

  12. Great post dear Xoxoxo
    I must say, I don't follow celebrities on my instagram either because I don't like that culture myself (we have something in common)

  13. I have always wanted to see the Foo Fighters in concert. Lucky you!!! Can't wait to hear more about it, later. :) T.

  14. I hate to admit, but I have never seen Gossip Girl...I had at one point read all the books when I was younger and remembered enjoying them! I'll have to give the show a whirl. Haha I agree with you on Jurassic World. I loved it but yeah, the personal plots were awful and let's not even talk about the science behind. Thank god for dinosaurs and Chris Pratt.

    Hope you're having a great weekend, Lauren!



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